Jump to content

Does Spanish borrow some words from Arabic?

Recommended Posts

There was a time when a part of Spain was under Islamic rule. And as many Muslims have to learn Arabic so they can read the Koran, we can make assumption that many of them spoke Arabic. I also assume that the Spaniards and Arabs had some trade relations. This is why some Arabic words ended up being used by Spaniards. According to a Wikipedia article, there are about 4000 Spanish words that are of Arabic origin.

You'll find a list of some of the words here:

acebuche: wild olive tree, or wood from such a tree. From Andalusi Arabic azzabbú.
aceche: copper, iron or zinc sulfate. From Arabic zā.
aceifa: Muslim summer military expedition. From Arabic Sa'ifah "harvest" or "summer expedition."
aceite: oil. From Arabic az-zayt "oil."
aceituna: olive. From Arabic (az-zaytun) "olive."
aceituní: precious cloth from the Orient. From Arabic az-zaytuni, a possible adaptation of the Chinese city Tsö-Thung.


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was very surprised to learn that one of the most popular Spanish words, Hasta, is actually an Arabic word Hatta and in both Spanish and Arabic they mean the same thing.  Until.  As in "Hasta manana" literally meaning "Until tomorrow" and also a very popular way to say "See you tomorrow". 


4000 Arabic words in Spanish sounds like a large amount of Arabic influence.  I'm pretty sure only Vulgar Latin has more words in Spanish than that. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 5 weeks later...
Scribendi: World-Class Editing and Proofreading

Just thought it worth mentioning that there are some Spanish words I use every day that are actually Arabic words.  Turns out I've been speaking Arabic when using the words Taza (cup), Azul (the color blue) and Ojala (hopefully). 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Similar Content

    • By Floren
      Online Languages ® Discord is a dedicated server hosting interactive language-related activities: learning, teaching, studying, translating and exchanging. We Offer: English, French, Arabic, Turkish, Portuguese, Italian, Hindi, Russian, Spanish, German, Dutch, Polish, Chinese  and much more.. 
      Hope you enjoy being a part of our highly active community!
      To join us you should follow these steps :
      1-You should install discord from the play store. 
      2-Then you sign up on discord .
      3-You will find symbol + with green color in the left side you click on that and you choose the last option 'join the a server. then you paste the link 

    • By nox
      ¡Hola, Amigos!

      After teaching to over than 6000 students vai the Udemy course, New content is added and this time it's all on our new platform, which is optimized through our experience over the years in teaching Español to all our awesome students.
      Still, not only the content that is edited and updated! we are providing 1-on-1 Skpye/Zoom call time with our professional tutors that lasts up to 60 mins, to provide you the best environment to understand grammar, learn vocabulary and practice conversation skills.
      check the link for more details and to enroll : Languag3
      ¡Hasta luego!
    • By Zach
      Spanish can be a really hard to learn but when your equiped right it can be much easier, in this text im going to propose you one of the best site to learn spanish in just a few day, is that cool ?!? The site is totally leagit and got more than 6000 student that are determinated to learn spanish. 
      Click here for more info (or the link below) and to learn spanish in a good environement with nice people! Que tengo un buen dia! 
    • By Emi
      ¡Hola! Me llamo Emi y vivo en Polania. Estudio español porque quiero vivir en España. Especialmente en Valencia. Mi espańol es mal pero intiendo. ¿Tienen sugestiónes?
  • Create New...